[b-greek] Re: Verbal Aspect follow-up

From: Rodney J. Decker (rdecker@bbc.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 09 2000 - 15:04:04 EST

At 07:42 PM 11/9/00 +0000, you wrote:
>All human beings, regardless of geographical isolation or linguistic
>limitations, innately think (conceptualize) in terms of past, present, and
>future. This is innate to the human soul, regardless of societal norms.
>Or, are you saying this is not the case?

I do not deny that all humans are capable of *conceptualizing* past,
present, and future. But that is *not* the point. The point is, do all
human languages *grammaticalize* temporal reference the same way? The
evidence from a wide variety of languages suggests that they do not have a
standard, "English-like" (perhaps "Western European"?) past/present/future
verbal system. (You will actually discover that the English grammarians
debate fiercely regarding the number of tenses in English; few define only
3, some have more than a dozen.)

I'm afraid that I don't have time this afternoon to develop this in more
detail. I might suggest you take a look at my book on this very subject (or
the earlier dissertation on which it was based). Details at

Rodney J. Decker, Th.D. Baptist Bible Seminary
Assoc. Prof./NT PO Box 800, Clarks Summit, PA 18411
rdecker@bbc.edu http://faculty.bbc.edu/rdecker/
XNS Universal Address: =RodDecker
The *Resources for NT Study* site is accessible at:

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